Is biblical patriarchy a form of oppression to women?

Author: BibleAsk Team

Biblical Patriarchy and Women

The Biblical model of patriarchy is not oppressive to women. Men are called to protect women as “the weaker vessel” and treat them with respect, reflecting the sacrificial love of Christ. The Lord instructed, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). The response of the husband to the wife’s submission is not to give a command, but to love. That immediately makes a partnership out of what otherwise would be a dictatorship.

A true husband never utters rude commands. His love will find expression in a variety of ways. It will be given in words of understanding and affection. The husband will properly provide for the wife’s temporal support (1 Timothy 5:8), he will do everything possible to assure her happiness (1 Corinthians 7:33) and he will give her every honor.

The supreme test of love is sacrifice. In this respect the husband is to imitate Christ, giving up personal pleasures and comforts to provide for his wife’s happiness and standing by her side in the hour of sickness, need and life’s difficulties. Christ gave Himself for the church because she was in desperate need; He did it to save her. Likewise, the husband will give himself for the salvation of his wife, ministering to her spiritual needs, and she to his, in a spirit of mutual love.

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). The Christian husband will never take advantage of his wife, nor will he make unreasonable demands upon her. Love should be the motive to spousal relationships.

Each spouse is bound to the other for life, and in every possible way each is to show kindness and consideration for the other. Paul wrote, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2–5). In the Christian family, there was no place for the oppression of women.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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